Father Michael Lapsley has Private Audience with Pope Francis and is Accompanied by Ambassador Johannes
On June 15th Ambassador George Johannes accompanied Father Michael Lapsley to a private audience held by Pope Francis.
Father Michael Lapsley, otherwise known as Father Michael, was expelled from South Africa in September 1976 and went to live in Lesotho where he then became a member of the ANC and a chaplain to the organisation in exile.
He was later sent a letter bomb, by the Civil Co-operation Bureau, which was hidden inside two religious magazines. Father Michael lost both his hands and sight in his left eye in the blast, and was seriously burnt.
Father Michael said he started his meeting with the pope by sharing some of his life journey, including the “pivotal” experience of the letter bomb, which he said Pope Francis was visibly moved by.
Father Lapsley explainded that himself and Pope Francis "got on extremely well with both sharing the same sense of humour, same direct language, same listening capacity, same priorities" and even shared a big hug at the end of what was a very productive audience.
For Ambassador Johannes it was a special occasion to meet up again with Father Michael as both had known each other from their time together with the ANC.